Men in White books: why opposition figures’ books missing in our bookstores?
Sometimes I’d take a glance at the Politics shelves of a bookstore to see if books by local politicians or activists are displayed alongside politicians from the ruling party, the PAP.
The likes of LKY or ex President Nathan and now lately books on the Men in White ( politicians from the PAP) usually dominate the shelves. It’s rare to see books by prominent opposition figures and activists sharing the same shelves with them.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the bookstores think it is politically incorrect.
However, in Malaysia they are more open-minded. You’d find a fierce critic like Anwar rubbing shoulders with Mahathir or PM Najib.
There are more books by other politicians and activists in Malaysia than in Singapore it seems to me. But it could be our bookstores refuse to carry books by anti-establishment figures out of fear.
For instance, M Ravi, prominent lawyer and human rights activist has just published a book KAMPUNG BOY but I don’t see it in any local bookstore.
Absent is also a book by a group of political detainees who wrote OUR THOUGHTS ARE FREE: POEMS AND PROSE ON IMPRISONMENT AND EXILE.
It’s a shame really that we have become a society that’s easily intimidated.
One may say books by ex PMs and ex Presidents or MIW are more saleable. But from my observations, they are actually white elephants.
Unlike the bookstores, the books by a certain ex PM had been unceremoniously thrown into the dustbin.
Just say I don’t like my bookshelves to be soiled, contaminated.
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